Campau History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Campau has a long French heritage that first began in the northern region of Normandy. The name is derived from when the family lived in Champeaux, in Normandy.
Early Origins of the Campau family
The surname Campau was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where they held a family seat. One of the first of this surname on record was William (Guillaume) de Champeaux who was Bishop of Salon-sur-Marne who is said to have died in January 1121. He was also a notable figure in philosophy in the first years of the 12th century.
Metaphorically the name means"'liberty," although literally "Campus" or "Battlefield." Branches of the family were also found by the 13th century in the neighbouring provinces of Picardy to the east and Brittany to the West.
In early years some of the family ventured to England. By example, "Whitchurch [Devon] was once an archpresbytery, on the foundation of Robert Champeaux, Abbot of Tavistock about the year 1300, the rector being archpriest and having three fellows." 
Between the 14th and 16th centuries they branched to Ille-et-Vilaine, Artois, de Tregouet, du Greis, Bonabry in Brittany, Champagne (the Seigneurie de Champagne), de la Boulaye, Bourgogne and Limousin. Perhaps the most important branch of the name was found in the south in Provence at Marseille, recorded there since the 15th century and found to be related to the Royal House of Monaco, the Grimaldi's. Valentine Grimaldi was adopted into the House of Campeau by an aunt, and it was ordained by the Prince of Monaco, chief of the House of Grimaldi, that henceforth from 1909, the family was to bear the name Campou Grimaldi-Regusse.
Étienne Campeau, born in 1638, son of Leonard and Françoise (née Mauge), was a French mason that travelled to Canada in the 17th century. After he arrived in Quebec he married Catherine Paulo, born in 1646, daughter of Pierre and Renée (née Cordetelle), at Montreal on 26th November 1663. 
Early History of the Campau family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Campau research. More information is included under the topic Early Campau History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Campau Spelling Variations
French surnames were subject to numerous alterations in spelling because of the various cultural groups that inhabited specific regions. Eventually, each region possessed its own local dialect of the French language. The early development of the French language, however, was also influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Campau is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Campeau, Campeaux, Champeau, Champeaux, Champel, Champels, Champart, Campaux, Compeau and many more.
Early Notables of the Campau family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Campau Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Campau family
France was active as a cultural leader in the early 16th century. One particular area in which they lead was the exploration of the New World. The explorers, like Jacques Cartier in 1534, led the way to North America. Champlain, in 1608, made the first of twenty voyages to France to attract settlers and brought the first migrant in 1617. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec, and the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Campau has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Campau were Bernard Campeau settled in Windsor in 1784; Charles Henri Basile Campeau settled in Montreal in 1763; Claude Campeau settled in St.Jean in 1732; Etienne Campeau settled in Longueuil in 1736..
Contemporary Notables of the name Campau (post 1700) +
- Daniel J. Campau (b. 1852), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1886-90; Michigan Democratic State Chair, 1899-1900; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1904 
- Daniel Campau, American politician, Mayor of Wyandotte, Michigan, 1892-93 
- Alexander Campau, American politician, Supervisor of Frenchtown Township, Michigan, 1889-90 
Related Stories +
- ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
- ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html